Clara Sureda Coll
I decided to do my EVS because I wanted to spread my wings, and suddenly I found myself in a wonderful place, surrounded by nature in the middle of the Forest. I couldn’t express with words what I was feeling because I didn’t speak the language, but even despite this, I felt it was the place I had to be, I felt like home without knowing what would happen or how this experience would change my life, and it did.. Today I can say it was one of the best experiences of my life.
The first impact it had on me was thefact ofabandoning my comfort zone and starting from the beginning in a new place. It made me feel really free and independent. Life in community, even with the challenges it brings, fascinates me; the fact of sharing a house with 15 young people from different countries gave me another vision of the world. To know other cultures, other values, another language, shook my small world and made me discover there are a lot of possibilities and different ways. At the same time you discover where you come from and who you are through simply living, sharing, having fun, loving, feeling and meeting people, in other words enjoying life.
The second impact was the connexion with nature: moving from the city to a village in the Forest, stopping the life of studies to start the one of experiences, working in a garden listening to the Earth to understand her rhythms and connecting with the most essential elementary things that nature provides. This bridge helped me to discover my spiritual path and awoke me to the importance of taking care of our environment.
I could say as well this experience taught me personal, professional and social skills like cooking, gardening, communication and for sure a new language. This was mostly through the work we did at ASHA hosting training courses and having the experience to get involved with them, meeting people from around the world, and learning about different kinds of subjects (theatre, music, interfaith, volunteering and so on), different cultures, traditions, ways of proceeding and enriching relationships, as well as awakening to a European awareness. This way of working made me realise as well the meaning of volunteering; what it deeply means to work with love and for love, having fun without expectation, giving to your community. I believe these small changes are the changes that change the world, and I believe in the methodology of non formal education, philosophy, the values and principles promoted by the ASHA centre so thanks to my volunteering service I felt I was bringing my little grain of sand to the world. This experience was one of personal growth.
I discovered different ways to love, to open my heart to people and I even fell in love. At ASHA I leant to trust life, to believe the things that have to come will come when you are ready and this is what happened with my love story and as well with my future. When my EVS finished, without knowing what to do next, I found a job in the same place where I was… at the Asha centre. So in my case my EVS gave me the opportunity to keep growing and learning about all these life lessons. And here I am… I am so grateful to have had this experience in my life. After my EVS I felt really empowered to do whatever I wanted and to have the courage to go anywhere to keep growing and discovering the world, be it only for the simple excuse of visiting all your new friends around the world. I felt myself filled with love, experience, memories and people that still and will be always in my heart.
In conclusion, my EVS experience enriched my life in different areas: my own self growth, my professional life, my spiritual life. It woke me up to my own place in the world and the part I have to play in it.